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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This page contains answers to the questions we are most frequently asked about our hospice services.

When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made and who should make the decision?

Understandably, most people are uncomfortable with the idea of stopping efforts to “beat” their diseases. Hospice staff members are highly sensitive to these concerns and are available to discuss them with you, your family and physician.

Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice or should I raise it first?

You and your family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with your physician.

What if our physician doesn’t know about hospice?

Most physicians know about hospice. If your physician wants more information, it is available from a number of sources including hospice personnel, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine or medical societies. Information on hospice also is available from the American Cancer Society, AARP, and the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Can a hospice patient who shows signs of recovery be returned to a regular medical treatment?

Yes. If improvement in the condition occurs and the disease seems to be in remission, you can be discharged from hospice and return to aggressive therapy.

Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?

Hospices do nothing either to speed up or to slow down the dying process. It provides specialized knowledge during end-of-life care and support to you, your family and friends.

Is hospice care covered by my insurance?

Hospice coverage is widely available. Hospice is a covered benefit through Medicare nationwide, through Medicaid when approved through the hospice agency and by most private health insurance policies.

If I am not covered by Medicare or any other health insurance, will hospice still provide care?

Most hospices will provide care for those who cannot pay, using money raised from the community or from memorial or foundation gifts.

Does hospice provide any help to my family after I die?

One of the most important aspects of hospice is the contact and support it provides for the family and friends for at least one year following the death of a loved one. Hospice also sponsors bereavement and support groups for anyone in the community who has experienced the death of a family member, friend or loved one.

How difficult is caring for a dying loved one at home?

It is never easy and sometimes can be quite difficult. At the end of a long, progressive illness, nights especially can be very long, lonely and scary. Hospices have staff available around the clock to consult with your family and to provide night visits as appropriate.

How does hospice “manage pain?”

Hospice nurses, doctors and therapists are up–to-date on the latest medications, treatments and devices for pain and symptom management. Hospice care also addresses emotional and spiritual pain. Social workers and counselors, including clergy, are available to assist you, as well as your family members and friends. We support your loved ones as part of our services.

Do I have to be a North Oaks patient to attend the support groups?

No. North Oaks support groups are open to all adults (18 years and older).

Do I have to have cancer to attend the Cancer Support Group?

No. Coping with the overwhelming emotions of a cancer diagnosis often affects people long after they are in remission. It's healthy to continue to process those emotions with others who have a similar struggle. If you are in remission, you can also help those just beginning their journey by sharing your story.

If I receive treatment at another hospital, can I still attend the Cancer Support Group?

Yes. Everyone is welcome.

I'm exhausted after treatment and/or I'm afraid to be in public because of being immunocompromised, but I need the support. What can I do?

North Oaks offers a virtual option for their support groups. To register, please click here.

What is a Caregiver Support Group?

A support group that offers individuals a safe place to discuss the stresses, challenges and rewards of providing care for their loved ones. They focus on sharing experiences with other caregivers to help manage stress, reduce feelings of isolation and recognize that you are not alone.

Who exactly are caregivers?

Anyone who is providing care to others, whether physically or emotionally. Here are just a few examples:

  • Caring for someone with dementia.
  • Helping a loved one through cancer treatment.
  • Physically caring for a disabled family member.
  • Having the responsibilities of caring for your aging parents or being a caregiver to someone who is mentally disabled.

My loved one died years ago. Can I still come to the Grief Support Group?

Of course. Everyone is welcome.

I still have questions about the groups. Can I call someone to ask questions?

Of course. (985) 230-7620

Contact North Oaks Hospice at (985) 230-7620 if you have more questions or if you would like to request a complimentary evaluation.

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